Instant Pot Cranberry Applesauce Recipe

Cranberry sauce can be a delicious complement for turkey and other poultry, but cranberries also pack a significant antioxidant punch. According to recipe developer and wellness coach Miriam Hahn, there is one potentially serious drawback. Depending on how it is prepared — and especially if it comes in a can — cranberry sauce can be quite high in sugar. Fortunately, this cranberry applesauce recipe from Hahn circumvents that issue by eschewing added sugar in favor of apples and apple juice. But while that is, indeed, a strong selling point, there is something else that makes this recipe special: It only takes 15 minutes to cook in an Instant Pot.

This recipe is not just a substitute for canned cranberry sauce. According to Hahn, it's "also really good to eat with breakfast or brunch, in place of plain applesauce." And it's one reason why she keeps frozen cranberries in her freezer year-round!

Gather the ingredients for Instant Pot cranberry applesauce

For this recipe, you'll need fresh or frozen cranberries and lemon juice. You'll also need some large apples. Hahn suggests using Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Gala, but you're welcome to use another variety if you prefer. Just be aware that Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Gala are on the sweeter side, although each also has a measure of tartness in its flavor profile. If tartness is what you prefer, something like a Granny Smith, combined with the tartness of the cranberries and lemon in this recipe, will deliver a more pronounced pucker.

In addition, you'll need cinnamon for a little sweet heat, plus more for serving. If you'd like, you can even garnish individual servings of this cranberry applesauce with a cinnamon stick.

Peel and chop the apples

Start by peeling the apples. (Note that a vegetable peeler is often more precise than a knife.) Quick trivia: Did you know that apple peels contain more nutrients than the flesh? It's true.  

Next, chop the apples. An easy way to do this is to slice off the top and bottom of the apples to create a flat surface. Then, cut close to the core on all four sides. Discard the core, and chop the four pieces into smaller pieces. They don't have to look any particular way because they're going straight into the Instant Pot.

Place all of the ingredients into your Instant Pot

Place the apples, cranberries, apple juice, cinnamon, and lemon juice into your Instant Pot. Cover, making sure the nozzle is set to Sealing, select Pressure Cook, and cook for five minutes. Note: The Instant Pot takes about 15 minutes to reach full pressure, at which point the five minute timer will appear on the display and begin counting down.

Remove the cooked apple mixture, mash, and serve

When the timer goes off, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for 10 minutes. Next, carefully open the lid, standing back so that you don't get hit by any remaining steam that releases from the pot at this point. When the steam fully dissipates, mash the contents of the pot with a potato masher or immersion blender to blend the sauce into whatever texture you prefer.  

Transfer to a serving bowl or individual ramekins, and top with more cinnamon. If desired, top each serving with a cinnamon stick. 

Instant Pot Cranberry Applesauce Recipe
5 from 37 ratings
This cranberry applesauce recipe is naturally sweetened and only takes 15 minutes to cook. No need to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy this scarlet superfood.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cranberry applesauce with cinnamon sticks
Total time: 23 minutes
  • 4 large apples
  • 2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for serving
  • 1 lemon, juiced
Optional Ingredients
  • cinnamon sticks, for serving
  1. Peel and chop the apples.
  2. Combine the apples, cranberries, apple juice, cinnamon, and lemon juice in the Instant Pot.
  3. Cover, making sure the nozzle is set to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. When the timer beeps, let the Instant Pot natural release for 10 minutes. Then carefully open the lid, standing back to avoid the hot steam.
  5. Mash fruit mixture with a potato masher or use an immersion blender until your desired consistency is achieved.
  6. Transfer applesauce into serving bowls or ramekins and top with more cinnamon. Serve with a cinnamon stick for extra pizzazz.
Calories per Serving 103
Total Fat 0.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.4 g
Dietary Fiber 5.8 g
Total Sugars 18.2 g
Sodium 2.9 mg
Protein 0.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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